An argument against mandatory minimum drug sentences

In Sharp, the appellate court like in some of the aforementioned cases, indicated that since the mandatory minimums were created by the legislature, judges can't impose shorter sentences unless a downward departure motion was filed by the prosecution.

This writer concluded mandatory minimum penalties are inconsistent with a fair and effective sentencing system and the sentencing guidelines. Between and40 states took action to ease drug laws, according to the Pew Research Center. In many countries, the enactment of mandatory minimum sentences has paved the way to lower crime rates.

In addition, he argues judges should be given more autonomy in their ability to sentence so they may craft specific punishments for particular defendants and create a solution which is best for all parties.

In New Zealand, life imprisonment is mandatory for murder.

Editor's Note :

The Obama administration has endorsed reducing sentences for drug offenders. Racial Disparities in Sentencing: This author concluded mandatory minimum sentences are creating drastic deleterious effects upon the black community.

Police have long been known to stop black males for small infractions they wouldn't even look crossly at a white person for doing.

9 Primary Pros And Cons of Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Mary Keefe, a Worcester Democrat. He's also said prosecutors are discerning about crime in the community and are in a better position than judges to deal with drug crimes.

This court held that the 8th Amendment was written to include not only excessive bail infractions but also was provided as safeguard to proportionality between the offense and the punishment rendered. Despite crime rates continually decreasing, the number of police officers has increased to the highest number of full-time officers in this nation's history.

However, it also has its drawbacks and can make life difficult for those who are wrongly accused as well as those who belong to minority groups. Unfortunately, the author had no data as to whether the provision was being used uniformly across racial lines.

Mandatory sentencing

The statute allowed police to arrest those who were "nightwalking" if they seemed suspicious and could not provide adequate identification. We have the advantage of not having them right now, and crime rates have not gone up.

This decision seems to open the door a very small crack for plaintiffs who can establish their sentences are excessive enough to be deemed unconstitutional.

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The disparity is especially apparent in cases where the sentences were the longest mandatory minimum sentences were involved. Few Victories, Great Costs, After all, the government has to make sure that prisoners are properly fed and clothed and give them access to medical care.

Between the yearsthe federal prison population grew faster than the combined populations of both state prisons and local jails.Booker mandatory minimum penalties on federal sentencing by the United States Sentencing Commission. [15] [ clarification needed ] InUnited States Attorney General Eric H.

Feds to Reconsider Harsh Prison Terms for Drug Offenders

Holder, Jr. announced that the Justice Department would follow a new policy restricting mandatory minimum sentences in certain drug cases. Sentencing used to be done by judges or juries, but with mandatory minimum sentences, a guilty verdict would mean that prosecutors have more control over sentences offenders would receive.

In other words, they have the power to choose whether or not they will charge offenders crimes that carry a minimum mandatory sentence. 2. Jun 10,  · State lawmakers took up mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug offenses Tuesday with a packed hearing on the long-debated issue.

Here. List of Cons of Mandatory Minimum Sentences. 1. They can be an unfair, one-size-fits-all solution. The premise surrounding mandatory minimum sentences is that judges have no choice but to award the same minimum punishment to everyone who commits the same crime, without taking their individual circumstances into account.

MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCING REFORM THE STATE FACTOR • 3 Prison definitely pays, but there’s one class of criminal that is an arguable exception: low-level, first-time drug of. In drug cases, mandatory minimum sentences are also often insensitive to factors that could make incapacitation more effective, such as prior criminal history.

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An argument against mandatory minimum drug sentences
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